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It’s not Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester or Liverpool. It’s not even either Rangers or Celtic, however much a two-party system Scottish football may seem. No, the most decorated club is, in fact, Egyptian giants Al Ahly Sporting Club, with an astonishing 118 honours to their name.

But just who are Al Ahly? And how have they come to dominate football in Egypt?

Who Are Al Ahly?

Al Ahly are an Egyptian football club based in the country’s capital, Cairo. Known as ‘The Club of the Century’ in the African game, they were founded in 1907 (initially for a place for Cairo’s Student Unions to gather) and have swept aside virtually all before them ever since.

Their 41 Egyptian Premier League titles (including seven in a row from 1993-94 to 1999-2000 and the ‘Golden Era’ of 2004-05 to 2010-11) is a world record for league champions, as is their 36 national cups and 11 national super cups. Fairly obviously, they’ve never been relegated, either.

2004-05 was the pinnacle for Al Ahly, though; they won the league by an enormous 31-point margin, winning 24 of their 26 games and drawing the other two, scoring 59 goals and conceding just 13.

That wasn’t all, though. Not only did they prove invincible in the league, but also went undefeated on their way to winning the Egypt Cup, the Egyptian Super Cup, and the CAF Champions League, encompassing 46 unbeaten matches in total.

From an international perspective, they’ve been similarly imperious, too. To their name, Al-Ahly also have a record eight CAF Champions League titles, a CAF Confederation Cup, a record six CAF Super Cups, a record four African Cup Winners’ Cups, an Afro-Asian Club Championship, an Arab Club Champions Cup, an Arab Cup Winners’ Cup, a record two Arab Super Cups, and a bronze medal in the 2006 FIFA Club World Cup.

In fact, around the world, only Real Madrid, with 26, can better Al Ahly’s 20-trophy haul on the international stage.

Al Ahly – Full Honours’ List

Egyptian Premier League (41 titles) – 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1988–89, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19.

Egypt Cup (36 titles) – 1923–24, 1924–25, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1936–37, 1939–40, 1941–42, 1942–43, 1944–45, 1945–46, 1946–47, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1952–53, 1955–56, 1957–58, 1960–61, 1965–66, 1977–78, 1980–81, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1995–96, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2016–17.

Egyptian Super Cup (11 titles) – 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018.

Sultan Hussein Cup (7 titles) – 1922–23, 1924–25, 1925–26, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1937–38.

Egyptian Confederation Cup (1 title) – 1989.

CAF Champions League (8 titles) – 1982, 1987, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013.

CAF Super Cup (6 titles) – 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014.

CAF Cup Winners’ Cup (4 titles) – 1984, 1985, 1986, 1993.

CAF Confederation Cup (1 title) – 2014.

Arab Super Cup (2 titles) – 1997, 1998.

Afro-Asian Cup (1 title) – 1989.

Arab Club Champions Cup (1 title) – 1996.

Arab Cup Winners’ Cup (1 title) – 1994.

FIFA Club World Cup – Bronze Medal, 2006.

Who Runs Al-Ahly Close?

The team that comes nearest to Al-Ahly in terms of titles and honours is Rangers, with 115.

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The most successful club in Scotland, the Gers have 54 Scottish League championships, a European Cup Winners’ Cup and seven domestic trebles to the name. But with their recent financial woes and demotion to the fourth tier following liquidation, there’s been a drought of late, and bitter Glasgow rivals Celtic aren’t far behind with 105.

The Bhoys are the fifth-most successful club in football, and between them and Rangers in third and fourth are Uruguayan sides Club Nacional de Football (113) and Atletico Penarol (108) respectively. Nacional’s honours include 46 Primera Divisions and three Copa Libertadores, while Penarol, who have never been relegated since joining Uruguay’s top tier in 1990, have 50 league titles and five Copa Libertadores.